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Graham Stuart Staines (1941-January 1999) was an Australian missionary who was burnt to death along with his two sons Philip (aged 9) and Timothy (aged 7) while sleeping in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district in Orissa, India in January 1999. On the night of 22 January 1999, Graham Staines had attended a jungle camp, an annual gathering of Christians of the area to strengthen fellowship and for teaching. In the night he was sleeping in his station wagon when it was set afire by a mob. Graham and his two minor sons were burnt alive. In 2003, the Hindu activist Dara Singh was convicted of leading the gang. Graham was survived by his wife and daughter who forgave the killers during their first court hearing. Instead of a death sentence they were given life imprisonment.

Graham and his family’s faith were tested by the latter and his sons losing their lives for Christ. In a very subtle way persecution of the saints has been going on here in our country. We can already see the persecution of Christians coming our way in the USA. How will we stand up to it?

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